Best Movies About Bounty Hunters
When you hear the words “bounty hunter” in feature films, it probably conjures up images of the old west and some gunslinger going after a ruthless bad guy. That image wouldn’t be far off as there have been plenty of Westerns that have featured bounty hunters.
But this genre of film does not begin and end with Westerns. It has seeped into science fiction movies – Blade Runner and Logan’s Run to name a couple – as well as contemporary films.
We have found eight of the best movies about bounty hunters and you will see that they are present across all genres of film. Some are true stories while others are Westerns. They d have that one common denominator, though – the bounty hunter.
8. Domino (2005)
Domino is the true story Domino Harvey, a former fashion model who decided to leave that life behind to become a bounty hunter. Keira Knightley portrays the title character whose story is told in flashbacks after she is arrested by the FBI concerning the case of the theft of $10 million from an armored truck.
The story then follows Domino and the $10 million. The film also stars Mickey Rourke, Edgar Ramirez, Delroy Lindo, Mo’Nique, and Mena Suvari. The real Domino lived a fast and hard life, finally succumbing to a fentanyl overdose in 2005.
7. No Country for Old Men (2007)
No Country for Old Men may not be your typical bounty hunter movie, but it does feature a relentless hitman who only has eyes for the bounty he was hired to recover. Javier Bardem is creepy good as Anton Chigurh, a brutal hitman who won’t let anything or anyone get in his way.
Woody Harrelson is also on board as the bounty hunter, who is also after the same thing Anton was hired for, the missing $2 million. This is an excellent film by the Coen Brothers and also features Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, and Kelly McDonald.
6. True Grit (2010)
Three years after the Coen Brothers hit it big with No Country for Old Men, they were back in the saddle with True Grit, a gritty remake of the 1969 John Wayne western. Both are based on the 1968 Charles Portis novel of the same name.
This updated version sticks closer to the source material and stars Jeff Bridges as Deputy U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, Matt Damon as Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, and Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross. True Grit tells the story of young Mattie who hires drunk Cogburn to track down the man who killed her father.
5. The Rundown (2003)
The Rundown is a film that came early in Dwayne Johnson’s career and still rates as one of his better flicks. In it, Johnson plays Beck, a very capable bounty hunter whose sole desire is to quit the business and open his own restaurant.
He is close to making it happen when his “boss”, Walker, hires him to track down his son, Travis, in the jungles of Brazil. When this job is complete, Walker says he will give Beck the rest of the money he needs for his restaurant.
Beck arrives and finds out that the job is going to be a whole lot more difficult than he imagined. Seann William Scott is Travis with Rosario Dawson and an over-the-top and unforgettable Christopher Walken also co-starring.
4. Unforgiven (1992)
Clint Eastwood is in true Clint Eastwood form in Unforgiven, a film in which he plays an aging and retired outlaw, William Munny, looking to live his remaining years raising his two children on his farm.
But money is tight and when he is offered to track down a cowboy who cut up a prostitute, the money is too tempting for him to say no. So, out of retirement he comes to chase down the cowboy and collect his bounty.
Munny calls upon his best friend Ned for assistance and they head to Big Whiskey, Wyoming to hunt down the cowboy. Unfortunately, they are going to have to deal with Little Bill Daggett, the town’s ruthless sheriff, first.
3. Django Unchained (2012)
Quentin Tarantino nailed it with his western that followed two bounty hunters. One is Dr. King Schultz, played expertly by Christoph Waltz, and Jamie Foxx, who plays the title character, Django, a freed slave who learns the bounty hunter trade from Schultz.
Django’s motivation comes from the need to rescue his wife, Broomhilda “Hildi” von Shaft (Kerry Washington) from a brutal plantation owner, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
Each and every performance in Django Unchained is perfect, supported by Samuel L. Jackson, Walter Goggins, Don Johnson, and even the original Django, Franco Nero.
2. Midnight Run (1988)
Midnight Run is an action-comedy buddy flick starring Robert De Niro as bounty hunter Jack Walsh and Charles Grodin as his bounty, Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas. Walsh is hired to find The Duke, who is on the run from the mob for embezzling $15 million.
At first, the job appears to be an easy one. Then, the FBI, more bounty hunters, and the mob get involved, all wanting a piece of The Duke. Midnight Run is a very underrated comedy.
1. The Hunter (1980)
As it was with Domino, The Hunter tells the true-life story of bounty hunter, Ralph “Papa” Thorson. Steve McQueen plays Thorson, an aging bounty hunter who is beginning to question his life decisions. He is slowing down, making his jobs a little more difficult than they should be, and all the while dealing with his pregnant girlfriend and the idea of becoming a father.
This would sadly be the last film in Steve McQueen’s career as he tragically passed away at the young age of 50 from cancer.